Supplies could be needed in one area, but without communication that area might not be able to reach out for those supplies. Communication amongst first responders is important for information sharing, so that information can flow between different jurisdictions and agencies. When looking at the efforts of first responders, communication is the one constant variable, which without communication all efforts would be in vain. (Newman & Clarke, 2008) The National Incident Management System (NIMS) places an emphasis on the importance of communication when dealing with response efforts. The National Incident Management System shows how having a unified command systems can benefit the response efforts to disaster. However, without proper and efficient communication, a unified command system cannot proceed efficiently.
The assistance provided for the purpose of helping the victims of a disaster rebuild their homes to the same living conditions they had lived in before the disaster, FEMA assisted 130,000 middle income and low income families rebuild after the Northridge earthquake (Eugene, 2010). FEMA also assisted with the coordinated the response of 27 federal agencies that were involved in the recovery process. The FEMA United States Fire Administration student manual “ICS-300: Intermediate ICS for Expanding Incidents” (2013) refers to this type of command structure within the Incident Command System is defined as a “Unified Command”. The Unified Command type of management system allows for multiple agencies to work together to plan and strategize but most importantly to be able to collect resources from each agency without having to go through extra steps. This coordination was said to have had a huge benefit by being able to get the funding for repairs and to be able to decrease the time frames set to repair and rebuild the infrastructure (highways and roadways) needed to the get the city moving again. (DeBlasio et al,.
When an incident occurs within the United States, the Incident Command System (ICS) is brought into action. The ICS process serves as a management system designed to provide an effective incident management structure by way of combining facilities, personnel, equipment, operating procedures, communications and operational standards. The ICS is not a flawless system, however its flexible design allows for adaptation and change. During Hurricane Sandy, the ICS was implemented with mixed results. More than 28,000 personnel were utilized for the response and recovery efforts from that hurricane. It was the Incident Command System that served as coordinating guidance for facilitating the organizational structure for the hurricane Sandy response
Communication, in regards to some kind of emergency, has been something that has been around since the day the earth was created. The cavemen communicated with one another about a danger by grunting or throwing rocks at each other to get the attention across, the dinosaurs made noises of distress when something wasn’t right, the cowboy era had guns to shoot in the air or a simple yell for help would suffice, and with the invention of the telephone and television the warnings of emergencies were on their way to what we have today through the internet, television, outside alarms, smart phones and aps. This paper will focus on a little history of the emergency management programs that have evolved over decades into where we are today, as well
The burden of emergency management has grown great deal in the last few decades. We have seen an increase in natural disasters, a new threat of terrorism on our front door and an increase in manmade disasters. All of these have tested emergency management in a number of cities and towns across the nation. It is not always disasters that present problems for emergency managers. We have to look beyond our traditional view of emergency management of helping us during times of disasters and view what issues they consider may affect their emergency response. Issues that emergency management see that are moving into the critical area are issues of urbanization and hazard exposure, the rising costs of disaster recovery, and low priority of emergency management.
Today, the Incident Command System (ICS) is a major component of NIMS and is widely used in emergency management response. However, this was not always the case. According to David A. McEntire and Gregg Dawson, authors of the article, “The intergovernmental Context,” ICS was originally developed by the fire service in 1970. Its purpose was to assist in the command of wildfire events. It was unique because it standardized operations, yet offered flexibility so that it could be used on any number of events, regardless of size or type (McEntire & Dawson, 2007, p. 63).
Natural and man-made disasters have increased in the past decade, and due to these changes, Emergency Managers had to make drastic changes in order to improve the way first responders operate in a disaster area.
Two specific areas of concern are noted in the majority of studies conducted. The first area of concern was that there was not a clear delineation of roles and responsibilities or organizational leaders (Haddow et al., 2014, p. 322). Since this event this has been an area that has shown considerable improvement. This has been accomplished through the use of NIMS and collaborative efforts of first responder leaders to craft an all hazards model of response. By doing both of these things, partner agencies are better able to fold into the rescue
Also, there are some challenges involves in mobilizing and deploying response teams in some special incidents. For instance, during the 2010 Deepwater Horizon (DWH) Incident, there were reports of “some delay in achieving a fully functioning, effective and efficient Incident Command System” (Florida Commission on Oil Spill Response Coordination, 2012, P.33). As such some questions like why should city emergency management personnel use the National Incident Management System rather than developing their own command and control system often arises. This paper will try to answer or clarify this question by examining the advantages and disadvantages of the NIMS; endeavor to see if there is any advantages and disadvantages, of developing and using an ad hoc system to manage emergency; And then compare the advantages and disadvantages both systems; finally try to justify the use of the National Incident Management System as opposed to emergency management personnel developing an ad hoc command system for each individual emergency or disaster situation.
Our world is complex there has always been and always will be disasters that can happen anywhere anytime. There can be natural disasters, for example floods, hurricanes, tornadoes, wild fires and drought. There are also man-made and technology types of disasters from hazardous material spills, biological weapons, cyber-attacks to even civil unrest. According to PEMA, the history of emergency management can date all the way back the first civil defense program which was started during World War I and later during World War II the office of civil defense (OCD) was created by Pres. Roosevelt. In the past emergency management, has always been event driven. With each new crisis that our nation has gone through, the reason for and the avenue in which to accomplish emergency management has changed. No more so than when the terrorist attacked on 9/11. The 9/11 commission report states that the Incident Command System is a “proven framework for emergency response” (911 CR). The incident command system is a proven framework for emergency response by providing clear leadership and organizational structure, improving the effectiveness of resource efforts, and maintaining safety for responders.
Communication is also very critical in the case of a catastrophic event. Thus, the first respondent need to be a good communicator for communication is an essential part in response to a catastrophic event (Pope, 2005). It is also the responsibility of the first respondent to have a practical plan to implement in case an emergency erupted following the catastrophic event. The aftermath of a catastrophic event is highly unpredictable and emergencies cannot be overlooked. It is, therefore, the
“In recent years with an increased emphasis on non-routine incidents such as hazardous materials, and now terrorist events, other methods have been developed to address new aspects related to non-routine situations” (FEMA, 1999). Command structure will encourage the delegation of workload to more manageable levels. Panic and chaos are not conducive to emergency responder productivity in a disaster. Managed response is a “force multiplier”, meaning that responders can accomplish their mission with less personnel or fewer resources if they work within a well- developed and planned system of
The Engaged Partnership refers to the leaders at all levels, the whole community/international partners, work together to develop response collective goals and aligned capabilities. Tiered Response is where the incidents are handled at the lowest jurisdiction/levels (such as local authorities), supported by any additional – higher entities when necessary or needed. The third principle covers the Scalable, Flexible, and Adaptable Operational Capabilities that are implemented as incidents change and evolve so that the responders are able to rapidly meet the challenges/changes to any situation. “National response protocols are structured to provide tiered levels of support when additional resources or capabilities are needed”. (NRF 2013, 6). The Unity of Effort through a Unified Command is the state of coordinating efforts among multiple organizations, which reduces duplication of effort and helps achieve the common objective. The Incident Command System (ICS) is a vital element in ensuring interoperability across ‘multi-jurisdictional or multi-agency’ incident management/leaders. The fifth and final key principle is Readiness to Act which is just that; individuals, local, state, and federal authorities being prepared to act upon and react to any type of disaster situation. An effective response is a balancing act of the understanding of the risks and hazards that the responders may encounter and the ability to act decisively. These principles mirror
As the Disaster Coordinator for the city I am responsible for ensuring the public safety and welfare of the citizens within the city's jurisdiction. This requires me to have a full understanding on my role and responsibilities for managing disaster response and employing resources in order to save lives, protect property, the environment. Additionally I’m tasked to preserve the less tangible but equally important social, economic and political structures. My first reaction was to alert the regional Joint Terrorism Task Force to prepare them for possible activation. Next it is vital to gain situational awareness and develop a Common Operating Picture (COP). This COP is the who, what, where, when and how as it relates to the incident. Situational awareness starts at the incident site and includes continuous monitoring of reporting channels to gain
Communication is widely regarded as one of the most essential elements in successfully managing an emergency situation. The dissemination of information, which is both timely as well as accurate, to the parties concerned goes a long way to lend a hand in ensuring that the recovery activities in an emergency situation, together with its management takes place effectively. For that reason, five critical assumptions are used to provide the basis of disaster management strategy.